What can I do if I did not know that my license was suspended? 62 Answers as of July 03, 2013

I was pulled over and the trooper said my license was suspended for a non payment of court fine. I was not aware of my license being suspended. What is my recourse?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC
Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC | Martina A. Vigil
You can fight the charge of driving on a suspended license if you did not have knowledge that your license was actually suspended. If the DMV failed to provide you with notice of the suspension, your case could be dismissed.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/9/2011
Law Office of Phillip Weiser
Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
You should contact the court where the fines were due and pay them along with a reinstatement fee, usually that would release the suspension on your license.
Answer Applies to: Kansas
Replied: 11/7/2011
Reza Athari & Associates, PLLC | Seth L. Reszko
Obviously, you might have to pay the court fine. If you did not get notice of the suspension, the court might lift the suspension but only if that court fine is paid.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 11/4/2011
Shane Law Office
Shane Law Office | Robert J. Shane
Before you can be convicted of driving after suspension, a prosecutor will need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you knew, or should have reasonably known, that your driver's license was suspended on the date of the offense. The prosecutor can meet this burden of proof by introducing at trial a certified copy of the notice of suspension of driving privileges mailed by the Department of Public Safety to the address listed on your driver's license. If the notice was never mailed to you by the Department, the prosecutor may still introduce other evidence at trial proving that you reasonably should have known about the driver's license suspension. For example, you may have been informed by a judge at your last court appearance that as a result of pleading guilty to no insurance, your driving privileges would be suspended or revoked. You may have a notice defense to the charge of driving after suspension. An experienced Minnesota traffic defense attorney will make a request from the prosecution for copies of all the evidence the prosecution intends to use against you at trial. If there is no evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you had knowledge of the suspension of your driving privileges, your criminal defense attorney will file a motion to have the charges against you dismissed for lack of probable cause to believe you committed the offense.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 11/4/2011
Law Firm of Martin & Wallentine
Law Firm of Martin & Wallentine | Jerry Lee Wallentine Jr.
There could potentially be an issue where notice wasn't properly served. This occurs in situations where the notice of suspension was sent to an incorrect address and they had notice that you were elsewhere. You need to get a criminal defense attorney to represent you. In the meantime, get your license reinstated as this will help your cause with the prosecutor.
Answer Applies to: Kansas
Replied: 11/3/2011
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    Find out what fine you did not pay resolve it. After paying the fine the clerk where the ticket was docketed will send a letter of clearance to the State of Alabama. Following the Alabama Department of Public Safety receiving the letter of clearance, you can pay a reinstatment fee at the location where you get your driver's license renewed and have your driving privileges reinstated and receive a new license. If you go to Court with your license reinstated,very likely, but not always, the charge will be amended or dismissed.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    We can represent you to work on getting the case dismissed.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/3/2013
    Harrison & Harrison
    Harrison & Harrison | Samuel Harrison
    Your license can be suspended when youfail to appear for traffic court. The only suggestion I have is to (1) get the earlier case closed, then (2) go to the court that has your suspension case and beg them like crazy to let you plead toa lesser charge.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Law Office of Nixon Ayemi | Nixon Ayeni
    You have none if your suspension was made known to you in court and if a mail was sent to your address on record.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Giannini Law Office, PC
    Giannini Law Office, PC | Robert Giannini
    You need to speak with a lawyer directly. To be convicted of driving while suspended they must prove that you knew or should have known that you were suspended. There may be defenses to this case. Be aware that if you plead guilty your license will be suspended all over again.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    If you were cited for driving on a suspended license, you will have to defend that citation. You should also determine why your license was suspended and take care of the problem that caused the suspension.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Anderson Law Office
    Anderson Law Office | Scott L. Anderson
    You need to try to keep the driving with a suspended license off of your record. If you hare convicted your license will be again revoked.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    If you pay the fine and a reinstatement fee, then you can get your license reinstated, provided there is nothing else preventing you. I hope that this was helpful.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Michael R. Nack, Attorney at Law
    Michael R. Nack, Attorney at Law | Michael R. Nack
    You can pay the fine and have the clerk send in a certificate of compliance so that you can get your license reinstated. Then you should hire an attorney to handle the DWS charge which should result in your avoiding a conviction.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger | James A Schoenberger
    Pay the fine, reinstate your license and, if you were cited for driving while suspended, do this before any court hearing.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
    Get your fine paid & your license in good standing and bring proof to court. There is a chance that the driving while license suspended case will be dismissed.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Law Office of Ronald Aronds, LLC
    Law Office of Ronald Aronds, LLC | Ronald Aronds
    Driving while suspended carries penalties that include high fines and a potential of up to 6 months further loss of your license. If you have more than one conviction, it also includes jail time. I would recommend you hire an experienced municipal court attorney to represent you in this matter since they may be able to find a way to get an amendment to your ticket that has much lesser penalties
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Fairlie & Lippy, P.C.
    Fairlie & Lippy, P.C. | Steven Fairlie
    If you can prove that you did not get notice you might have a chance, but there is a presumption that if notice was mailed to the address where you are licensed that you got notice, and it is then up to you to prove you did not get it.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    It makes no difference whether you knew or not that your license was suspended, two issues are in force here: were you driving, and were your privileges to drive suspended or revoked. However, I would find out where the unpaid ticket is from, go in and pay it, and get a certified receipt, then go to the DMV and present this information, and they will rescind the suspension in short order. In most cases, you appear with a valid license, and the charges are dismissed.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum | Edward J. Blum
    Fight the case. You can usually get it reduced to driving without a license when you get your license back.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law | Mark Thiessen
    Not knowing is not a defense. Get your license up to speed asap and take deferred adjudication or ask the prosecutor to dismiss the charge.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Law Offices of Phil Hache
    Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
    If VC 14601 charges are being filled against you (driving on a suspended license), you can fight your case as knowledge of the suspension is one of the elements of the charge. Contact an attorney to discuss your case in more detail.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Rizio & Nelson
    Rizio & Nelson | John W. Bussman
    To be convicted of 14601 (driving on a suspended license), the prosecution must show that you knew or should have known that your license was suspended. If they can prove that the DMV mailed a notice of suspension to your last known address, you are presumed to have received it and you will be treated as if you had knowledge of the suspension. If you failed to notify the DMV of an address change, that's your own fault. I have beaten these cases before where the DA cannot prove that the notice of suspension was properly mailed to the correct address. It's hard to say whether or not you have a defense without personally reviewing all of the evidence against you. Call me for more information. If you're eligible to get your license (you can afford to pay off your fines and get the license reinstated), you should do that before you appear in court. The DA will be much more willing to cut you a sweet deal if you show up in court with a valid license.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Anderson Walsh PLLC
    Anderson Walsh PLLC | STACI LYNN ANDERSON
    You should immediately pay the fines and fees necessary to reinstate your driving privileges and have proof to present to the prosecutor. You may be able to negotiate a reduction in your charge or a dismissal.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 9/20/2012
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    You need a lawyer. The charge will probably get reduced. But, you'll have to clean up your license.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    Pay the court fine that suspended your license. Plead not guilty and get an attorney. The lawyer may be able to work a deal that if your license is made good then they will let you plead to something that will not result in a further suspension and other fees Driving while license suspended will let the Secretary of State charge you a fee of $500 for the next two years AND give you a further suspension of your license.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Law Office of Daniel K Martin
    Law Office of Daniel K Martin | Daniel K Martin
    Go to the DMV get your license fixed. Then go to court and show proof of license. They will reduce the fine. Trying to argue that it should be dismissed because the you were not notified isn't going to work. Notice is presumed when the DMV sends a letter to the address they have for you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Law Office of Charles J. Block
    Law Office of Charles J. Block | Charles J. Block
    Pay the fine, go to MVC and pay a restoration fee and consult a lawyer before you go to court.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    bark & karpf
    bark & karpf | peter bark
    I assume that you knew the fine was due but forgot about it. Your best bet is to try to plea bargain the Operating Without a License. Pay the old fine immediately.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Law Offices of Kenneth Wincorn P.C.
    Law Offices of Kenneth Wincorn P.C. | Kenneth Wincorn
    There is no recourse. You should get your license reinstated asap.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    Pay the fine off. Get in touch with the DOL and get your license reinstated. That is your recourse. It is also a good idea to keep DOL aware of your current address since you are required to do so by law.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    If they cannot prove that you got the suspension letter you are ok.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law
    Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law | Jonathan S. Willett
    You probably did not know, because you did not file a change of address with the DMV. You should pay the outstanding fees and reinstate before you get to courtthen they will offer you a good plea bargain.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    You need to find the court you owe the money to, pay it and then take proof of that to the DMV. They will reinstate your license. If you were charged with driving under suspension, the prosecutor may make you a good deal if you can show you got reinstated prior to your court date.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Law Offices of James A Bates
    Law Offices of James A Bates | James A Bates
    You cannot be convicted of a driving on a suspended license case unless the prosecution can prove you knew of the suspension.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law | Charles M. Schiff
    If the Department of Public Safety sent a notice of suspension to the address listed on your driver's license, this is considered legal notice. Notices sent by mail from DPS are specifically not forwarded. This is to ensure that people keep their license addresses current, as required by statute. If no notice was sent, you have a valid defense.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    The Law Offices of Correen Ferrentino
    The Law Offices of Correen Ferrentino | Correen Ferrentino
    You may have a defense if you did not have actual knowledge of the suspension. The prosecutor would have to prove the DMV notified you of the suspension.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Michael Edwards, Attorney at Law
    Michael Edwards, Attorney at Law | Michael Edwards
    First, you clear the failure to appear with the court where you got the original citation that was not paid. You do that by contacting that court, and paying what needs to be paid, or even appearing in court if you have to. Once you do that, that court will send a clearance of the failure to appear to the Driver License Division. Or, if the court will give you a hard-copy of the clearance paperwork, you can hand-carry it to the Driver License Division. That would usually be a bit faster. Either way, once the failure to appear is cleared, you can pay the reinstatement fees to the Driver License Division, and get your Driver License back. FYI, when you move in the State of Utah, our law says that you have to update your address with the Driver License Division within 10 days of your move. If you fail to do so, they will not allow their mail to be forwarded. So they probably sent a suspension notice out to the address that they have on file for you, but that was no longer your address, so you didn't get it. Always be sure to update your address with them when you move! It is easy to do. You can either do it online, or go-in to any Driver License Division office.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Lawsmith, The Law Office of J. Scott Smith
    Lawsmith, The Law Office of J. Scott Smith | J. Scott Smith
    This response does not create an attorney/client relationship. If your license was revoked for non payment of a cost of Court, you need to pay the cost and then go to DMV and get your license reinstated. Be sure that your license is revoked only for that and not something else. If it's for something else, please see a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    You should have known that your license would be suspended when you failed to pay the traffic ticket. Because you failed to mail in the ticket DMV suspended your license. They probably mailed you a notice. If you move you have to notify the DMV at their website or go into the local office. Now you are charged with 511-1 and you should retain an attorney to get the charge reduced to a 509-1 or 511-a1 violation. Most people do not hire a lawyer for traffic tickets and they will often pay more in fines, insurance, and traffic school and wait in line at court for three or four hours. You will miss a day of work and probably get points or a large fine. An attorney can get the ticket dismissed with no points.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    If the only reason for the suspension is an unpaid court fine, then simply pay the fine. If no charges were filed as a result of the officer stopping you, then as soon as you pay the fine, the court clerk should release any hold on your license and you will be eligible for reinstatement wit DOL. If you did get cited for driving while license suspended, still pay off the fines. When you go to court, show the court that all fines have been paid. As long as your record is relatively clean (no history of driving with suspended license), then the court may either reduce or possibly dismiss the charge.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    The Law Office of Cindy Barton
    The Law Office of Cindy Barton | Cindy Barton
    You will have to deal with the DMV, more than likely you moved without giving them a new address. You will have to take care of the court fine, take care of DMV and maybe you can then talk the prosecutor on the new charge to put this in a plea in abeyance. Take all your proof of what you have done to fix it. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Gutin and Wolverton
    Gutin and Wolverton | Harley Gutin
    There is a presumption that if DMV mailed you the Notice of Suspension to your address (on your current or last DL) that you had notice. If they did not mail it you have a good chance of fighting it. If they did send it you can still fight it but you need to overcome the presumption.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Law Office of Craig E. Gibbs
    Law Office of Craig E. Gibbs | Craig Gibbs
    You should call DMV.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
    Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
    I'd recommend you retain a lawyer to assist you with this matter. Most attorneys provide free initial consultations. Speaking generally, with allegations of driving with a suspended/denied/revoked license, knowledge of actions taken against a license is an element that must be proven by the prosecuting authority. If a person is issued a civil infraction, they have a right to deny responsibility and request a hearing. If the person is charged with the misdemeanor, they may plead not guilty. I'd recommend that you retain a lawyer if you need specific legal advice for your circumstances.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    Retain an attorney and let him do the research to figure out what occurred with your license.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Connell-Savela
    Connell-Savela | Jason Savela
    pay the fine and fight the new charge based on lack of knowledge many DA's will dismiss if you can show proof of valid DL and INS.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Well, you will need to go and fix your license later, but right now you probably have to deal with the driving on a suspended license charge, which is usually a misdemeanor. Consider consulting a lawyer, who may be able to get the charge dismissed. This often involves negotiation with the Judge or prosecutor whereby your license is fixed in return for a dismissal or a reduced charge.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Law Offices of Paula Drake
    Law Offices of Paula Drake | Paula Drake
    You may want an attorney to handle the citation for suspended license (if you were, in fact, cited by the officer for that). The issue of notice of the suspension could be a factor; the attorney can find out if/how you were notified of the suspension. Also, if you can pay the underlying fine and get the license reinstated by the DMV before the court date, it will help to resolve the matter, often times with a reduction or dismissal of the charge.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Law Office of Joe Dane
    Law Office of Joe Dane | Joe Dane
    One of the elements of the crime of driving on a suspended license is that they must prove you had knowledge of the suspension. The DMV will likely claim they mailed you a letter, so you must have known. They could have put you on notice in some other way (verbal notice from a judge or a peace officer) or written notice that you signed. Depending on what (if any) proof they have that you knew your license was suspended, it may change the outcome of your case. Getting your license reinstated will be the best thing you can do to help yourself out. You're looking at a misdemeanor charge that can potentially carry probation, fines, etc. It's also 2 points on your driving record - something you want to avoid if at all possible. A local criminal defense attorney that routinely practices in the court where your case will be heard will be your best bet for a good outcome.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Attorney at Law
    Attorney at Law | Michael J. Kennedy
    Plead not guilty. They have to prove your knowledge beyond reasonable doubt.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    When I have gone to court for a client with these facts the charge was reduced to driving without a license after the fine was paid and the suspension lifted.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Law Office of Richard Southard
    Law Office of Richard Southard | Richard C Southard
    The state has the burden to prove that you did have knowledge. Usually that is accomplished with copies of letters that they sent you, coupled with what's known as affidavits of regularity, which basically are affidavits saying that it is their regular course of business to mail them. The first thing you should do is to clear up the underlying traffic infraction. Second, you should hire a lawyer who can try to negotiate this down to a traffic infraction with a fine, so that you do not have a permanent criminal record as a result of this incident.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq.
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq. | Jeffrey Lawrence Pollock
    Pay your fines immediately to show good faith as a way to mitigate your fines/suspension/costs/sentence. A good lawyer will help you negotiate a minimal punishment.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Law Office of Joseph M. Rameaka
    Law Office of Joseph M. Rameaka | Carol L. Ricker, Esq.
    Your best recourse is to have an attorney negotiate the fines and/or loss of license with the town prosecutor. You may be able to get off with minimal fines, especially if you show that you have your license reinstated.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Summers and Schneider
    Summers and Schneider | Kimberly A. Summers
    It depends under what code section you have been charged. Often times, if you have your license reinstated (and all fines payed) before you go to court a judge will dismiss the charge. Under most penal law sections, you must have had notice of your license suspension in order to be convicted of a driving on suspended offense so you can take the case to trial and fight the charges in court.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Raiser & Kenniff, PC
    Raiser & Kenniff, PC | Steve Raiser
    The standard is "known or should have known" that your license was suspended. Therefore, you should get an attorney and pay the fine that led to your suspension.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law | Gary Moore
    You should hire a lawyer to help you clear the mess.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Betts Legal Services
    Betts Legal Services | Shawn M. Betts
    You have a defense if you were not aware of the suspension, however all the State needs to show is that the Dept. of Motor Vehicles sent out notice to the last address you provided to them. If that happened, even if you did not know it, you are considered to be on notice.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 11/3/2011
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney